Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Consistency is the key for quality child care in States and Territories

The Howard Government continues to deliver Quality Assurance while several States and Territories fail to impose licensing and regulations in Family Day Care (FDC) and Outside School Hours Care (OSHC).

At today’s Ministerial Council on Community and Disability Services, Minister for Families and Community Services, Mal Brough, called on States and Territories to introduce licensing and regulations in FDC and OSHC services.

"It is unacceptable that Victoria, Northern Territory, New South Wales and South Australia Governments have failed to introduce licensing and regulations for FDC or OSHC," Mr Brough said.

"My calls to States and Territory Governments to introduce licensing and regulations have yet to be answered despite the Howard Government’s recent $60.2 million funding announcement to uncap child care places in FDC and OSHC over four years.

"I have formally written to all State and Territory Ministers who have not regulated child care services to tell them that if regulations are not in place by January 2007, because of the risk to child safety, I will be forced to review the approval process for OSHC and FDC services in these jurisdictions.

"It is imperative that State and Territory Governments address this issue because parents deserve to be assured that their child is in a safe and quality environment.

"The Australian Government is doing its part, through the recently announced overhaul of the Quality Assurance system and consultation with the child care sector is already underway.

"The Howard Government is ensuring greater certainty to parents through Quality Assurance in Australia’s child care centres and will be strengthening this by implementing unannounced visits and spot checks.

"We also plan to establish an integrated Child Care Quality Assurance system which will bring together the three existing Quality Assurance systems into one single system, creating a more streamlined accreditation process.

"It’s about time all States and Territories stepped up to their responsibilities for quality child care by introducing regulations across all child care services."